Covid tests and masks not compulsory at English schools, says minister
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:15:52 GMT
From https:

Nick Gibb says he hopes most pupils and schools will choose to take protection measures

It will not be compulsory for school pupils to take Covid tests twice a week, nor wear face coverings in class, the schools minister Nick Gibb has confirmed.

But Gibb said he hoped most students would wear masks and volunteer to take tests twice a week in school, before being given home testing kits.

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Job losses in pandemic due to performance issues, say nearly half of Britons
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 00:01:12 GMT
From https:

Kings College London study also revealed negative views of minorities are still common

Nearly half of people believe those who lost their job during the pandemic were likely to have been underperforming, a survey has found.

In findings that will raise fears over inequalities in Britain, a study of attitudes by researchers at Kings College London showed a significant minority thought a widening post-Covid income gap between white people and BAME groups would not be a problem.

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Princess Latifa letter urges UK police to investigate sister's Cambridge abduction
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:01:56 GMT
From https:

Latifa says in letter passed to police ayour help and attention on her case could freea Princess Shamsa

Princess Latifa, a daughter of Dubaias ruler who claims to have been held in captivity by her father since 2018, has asked UK police to re-investigate the kidnapping more than 20 years ago of her sister, Princess Shamsa, according to a letter reported by the BBC.

The BBC reported that in a letter handwritten in 2019 a but passed to Cambridgeshire police on Wednesday a Latifa says the police may be able to free Shamsa, who was abducted on the orders of her father when she was 19.

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UK's gas power plans risk derailing climate targets, thinktank says
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:01:20 GMT
From https:

Household bills also likely to rise if 17 plants proposed are built, according to CarbonTracker report

Fossil fuel companies risk derailing the UKas climate targets and pushing up household bills by planning to build a string of new gas-fired power plants worth APS9bn, according to a thinktank.

The UK has 17 gas-fired plants proposed with a combined generation capacity of 14GW. They include plans for Europeas largest at the Drax site in North Yorkshire.

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Welsh watchdog criticises lack of action since home-school scurvy death
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:01:20 GMT
From https:

Childrenas commissioner says moves to better regulate home education have been slow and ineffective

The Welsh government is failing in its legal duty to protect the rights of home-educated children a decade after a boy who was being taught by his parents slipped under the radar of education and health officials and died of scurvy, an official report has concluded.

Eight-year-old Dylan Seabridge lived in a secluded rural community in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, where he had not been seen by any agencies or services for seven years.

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One protester left in Euston anti-HS2 tunnel as Swampy and others leave
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:16:29 GMT
From https:

Protest against rail project has been going on for 30 days, with final activist said to have plenty of supplies

Just one protester is left in the Euston anti-HS2 tunnel after three activists emerged from underground on Thursday.

The three to leave include Dan Hooper, known as Swampy, 48, and Isla Sandford, 18, known as Blue. The tunnel protest, which has been going on for 30 days, is one of the longest in UK history.

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GameStop shares surge more than 100% as trading frenzy returns
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 04:32:07 GMT
From https:

Investors are puzzled about why the stock favoured by home-based investors soared by 104%, and then 85% after hours

GameStop shares more than doubled in afternoon trading on Wednesday, surprising those who thought the video game retaileras stock price would stabilise after a fierce rally and steep dive that upended Wall Street in January.

The shares soared nearly 104% during the session in which trading was halted several times, then jumped another 85% after hours.

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'Unique' petrified tree up to 20m years old found intact in Lesbos
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 05:00:18 GMT
From https:

Discovery of 19.5-metre tree with roots, branches and leaves is unprecedented, say experts

First came the tree, all 19.5 metres of it, with roots and branches and leaves. Then, weeks later, the discovery of 150 fossilised logs, one on top of the other, a short distance away.

Nikolas Zouros, a professor of geology at the University of the Aegean, couldnat believe his luck. In 25 years of excavating the petrified forest of Lesbos, he had unearthed nothing like it.

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Kelsey Grammer to return as Frasier in reboot of hit comedy
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:01:01 GMT
From https:

Actor is agleefully anticipatinga the return of the comedy, which is being rebooted after 17 years

The hit 90s TV comedy Frasier, starring Kelsey Grammer as a snobbish radio advice-show host, is to return to television nearly two decades after it last aired. Grammer said he would reprise his role in a revival of the series, which ran for 263 episodes between 1993 and 2004.

Frasier, a spin-off of the TV series Cheers, was one of the most successful shows of the 90s and 00s, winning five consecutive Emmy awards for outstanding comedy series and running for 11 seasons. The series followed Grammeras character, who returns to Seattle to care for his elderly father, with his pretentious psychiatrist brother, Niles Crane.

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From dealing drugs to delivering food: Pastor Mick on Burnley's Covid crisis a video report
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:00:23 GMT
From https:

Pastor Mick Fleming has devoted all of his time in this lockdown to supporting the poorest communities in Burnley. But his life hasnat always been this way. He tells us how he swapped a life of crime afor delivering food parcelsa seven days a week, holding funerals for free and counselling people through drug relapses. He says the suffering of the poorest people in his town should make society deeply uncomfortable

Mick's Church on the Street charity: https://www.cots-ministries.com/


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Nearly half with cancer symptoms in the UK did not see GP in first wave of pandemic
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:01:19 GMT
From https:

People avoided seeking medical help during first lockdown because they did not want to burden NHS

Almost half of those who had a potential symptom of cancer during the pandemicas first wave did not see a GP, even when they coughed up blood or developed a lump, a new study shows.

People held off seeking medical help because they did not want to waste health professionalsa time, add to the pressure on the NHS or go to hospital in case they caught Covid-19.

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Coronavirus live news: Finland announces lockdown plan; Ukraine registers 40% jump in new cases
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:21:34 GMT
From https:

Finnish PM announces three-week lockdown from 8 March; Ukraine registered 8,147 cases on Wednesday; EU leaders to debate certificates for people who had Covid jabs

More from the World Health Organization news conference (tune in to the video at the top of the page):

Long covid is thought to be due to persistence of the virus in some parts of the body that are sheltered from the immune system, for instance in the brain, said Martin Mackee, professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The likelihood of getting long covid isnat associated with severe infection, and women are more likely to get it than men, he said.

Coronavirus is continuing to spread at high rates across Europe, with two variants posing the greatest threat, according to Dr Hans Henri Kluge, the World Health Organizationas director for Europe.

Speaking at a news conference, Kluge said that less than 1 million new cases have been reported for a second week in a row as transmission is slowing across Europe, while new reported cases have declined by almost a half since end of 2020. However he cautioned against complacency given that the number of new cases in Europe is 10 times higher than in May last year, and most countries still have very high levels of community transmission.

One in ten Covid-19 sufferers remain unwell after 12 weeks, and many for longer, he added. He advised health authorities to listen to the symptoms of long Covid sufferers in order to better understand the condition. This is a priority for the WHO, and should be for every health authority, he said.

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'No cheering': Tokyo Olympics fans asked to stick to clapping during torch relay
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 04:55:28 GMT
From https:

Covid restrictions means event could be suspended if crowds lining route become too large, organising committee warns

People who turn out to catch a glimpse of the Olympic torch during its journey through Japan from the end of next month will be asked to applaud rather than cheer passing runners, and the event could be suspended if crowds lining the relay route grow too large.

The unusual provisions for the relay - the main precursor to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - are another sign of the difficulties organisers face as they attempt to carry off an event involving tens of thousands of athletes, officials and journalists in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

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UK businesses plead for further support in run-up to budget
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:00:19 GMT
From https:

Britain suffering worst economic damage since Covid crisis began, analysis shows

Rishi Sunak is preparing to deliver next weekas budget with the British economy at a pivotal moment before lockdown is relaxed, with businesses and workers still under severe strain, according to a Guardian analysis.

After the prime minister set out the governmentas roadmap for dismantling Covid restrictions over four key stages this spring, the chancellor is expected to use his 15th major tax and spending announcement in less than a year on Wednesday to pledge further financial support to steer the economy towards recovery.

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Losses at Aston Martin almost quadruple as Covid cuts sales
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 08:31:47 GMT
From https:

Luxury sports carmaker reports APS466m pre-tax loss just as firm embarks on major turnaround plan

Aston Martin Lagondaas losses nearly quadrupled during 2020 as the pandemic hit sales just as the sports carmakeras new bosses were starting a turnaround plan.

The carmaker on Thursday reported a APS466m loss before tax for the year, compared with a APS120m loss in 2019, as sales slumped and it wrote off nearly APS100m of investments in now-abandoned products such as the Rapide electric car.

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Primark sales plunge by APS1.5bn but chain 'expects to break even'
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:19:07 GMT
From https:

Owner ABF is banking on spending spree once stores are fully reopened from Covid lockdowns

Primark sales dropped by APS1.5bn year-on-year during the last six months while the fast fashion retaileras stores were closed by pandemic restrictions.

The retailer estimated it would sell APS2.2bn of goods in the 24 weeks to 27 February, APS1.5bn lower than the equivalent period in the year before, its owner, the conglomerate Associated British Foods, reported on Thursday.

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Hunting the men who kill women: Mexicoas femicide detective
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:00:19 GMT
From https:

Although femicide is a recognised crime in Mexico, when a woman disappears, the authorities are notoriously slow to act. But there is someone who will take on their case

On the night of 30 October 2019, as many Mexicans were preparing to celebrate the Day of the Dead, the family of Jessica Jaramillo stood in the pouring rain watching two dozen police search a house on the outskirts of Toluca, the capital of Mexico State. At about 9pm, the authorities carried out a dead dog, followed by two live ones and a cat. Then they pulled out a womanas body.

Jessi, a 23-year-old psychology student at a local university, had gone missing a week earlier. On 24 October, she hadnat appeared at the spot where her parents usually picked her up after class. Within a few minutes, she called her mother to say she was going out, abruptly hung up, then texted to add, aDonat worry, Iam with Ascara.

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Turkey's mobsters step out of shadows and into public sphere
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 03:00:15 GMT
From https:

After decades in hiding, in prison or keeping low profile, players from a bloody period in the countryas history are now seen as afolk idolsa by the Turkish right

At first glance, the photograph of two smartly dressed older Turkish men, posing for the camera in an office filled with flags, could be of any important figures in the country a but it is rare for a picture to say so much about both the past and the future.

On the left is Devlet BahASSeli, an ultranationalist political dinosaur who has in the past few years become an influential coalition partner in the government of Turkeyas president, Recep Tayyip ErdoAan.

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Claudette Colvin: the woman who refused to give up her bus seat a nine months before Rosa Parks
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:00:19 GMT
From https:

It was a spring afternoon in 1955 when a teenageras spontaneous act of defiance changed US history. Why did it take 40 years for her to get any credit?

It was 2 March 1955, and an unusually humid spring day when students at Booker T Washington high school, a segregated school in the heart of the Jim Crow south, had been let off early to make their way home. A group boarded a segregated public bus, which wound through segregated neighbourhoods gradually filling up with passengers.

A 15-year-old gifted Black student, with aspirations to become a civil rights attorney, took a window seat near the exit door. She gazed outdoors until the white driver instructed her to give up her seat for a white passenger standing nearby.

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Not a sprint: endurance experts on how to make it through lockdown
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:00:24 GMT
From https:

Marathon runner Eddie Izzard, solo sailor Pip Hare and explorer Levison Wood explain what they have learned about enduring the seemingly unendurable

It just goes on and on, doesnat it? Despite the millions of vaccinations, and Boris Johnsonas aroadmapa for easing the lockdown, this pandemic is feeling increasingly like an endurance test a a marathon, followed by another marathon, followed by another. Or trudging for miles and miles across the desert for day after day. Or sailing alone around the world, battling storms and loneliness. How do you keep going? There are people who know a thing or two about that a keeping going, endurance, deserts and storms. Perhaps they might even have some advice.

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A bath for your brain: why French drama Torn is perfect pandemic TV
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:09:45 GMT
From https:

I was unmoved by the ProvenASSal thriller when I first saw it, but it landed on All4 at a time when absurd escapism is needed

It took me a while to warm to Walter Presents/All 4as French drama Torn. I first saw it in a cinema a couple of years ago, when I was on the jury for the French television festival Series Mania.

Back then, its charms were not immediately apparent. It was a is a about a woman cheating on her husband with a chef in Provence; it felt as if the story was secondary to all the nice things on display. The cast members were all attractive and the characters lived in houses so beautiful that it made me angry. aThat wasnat a drama,a sniffed one of the other jurors as we filed out of the screening. aThat was a tourism advert.a

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Why Bitcoin is so bad for the planet a video explainer
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 08:22:22 GMT
From https:

In a year, bitcoin uses around the same about of electricity as the entire country of Norway.

The digital currency is one that allows people to bypass banks and traditional payment methods. It is the most prominent among thousands of so-called cryptocurrencies and has been repeatedly reaching new records - but is it sustainable?

The Guardianas UK technology editor Alex Hern examines how exactly bitcoin uses electricity and if the environmental cost is too high

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Set children free: are playgrounds a form of incarceration?
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:00:20 GMT
From https:

Play has been the invisible casualty of the pandemic. Is it time to let children reclaim the streets? Our writer looks forward to a post-Covid world of parklets, play streets and repurposed parking spaces

On the other side of a child-sized archway lies a street that has had supersized sprinkles of confetti painted across its tarmac. This leads to a surreal scene strewn with boulders, undulating benches and piles of logs. A tap emerges from one boulder, a hammock swings near a picnic table in the middle of the road, while a circle of planted willows forms a living den on the verge. When the pandemic struck last year and playgrounds were quickly sealed off with tape and metal barriers, this playful space in Hackney, London, remained open a because itas not actually a childrenas playground, but a public street.

aWe were trying to show that play is an essential part of civic infrastructure, just as important as pavements,a says architect Liza Fior, whose practice, Muf, conjured this permanent play street for the council. aItas not overtly a playground, but there are invitations to play set all along it.a

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aThe base is solidly behind hima: Trumpism expected to thrive at CPAC
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:00:20 GMT
From https:

Lineup at annual gathering features former presidentas allies a and Trump himself a suggesting his dominance is undiminished by his election loss

Ronald Solomon spent five days making the 2,300-mile drive from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Orlando, Florida, where he will sell about 75 different hat designs, 15 types of flag, 10 T-shirt designs and a range of eight face masks.

Solomon is the president of the Maga Mall, a retailer of Donald Trump and aMake America great againa merchandise. Undeterred by the former presidentas 2020 election defeat and disgrace, he expects to do brisk business when the biggest annual gathering of grassroots conservatives opens on Thursday.

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No sex please, we're British. Dating in a pandemic
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 03:00:15 GMT
From https:

Lockdown rules have left little opportunity for people who arenat already living with a partner to pursue romantic relationships, explains Zoe Williams

Last March, when the first a and strictest a national coronavirus lockdown went into effect, one of the many aspects of life that suddenly became exponentially more complicated was dating. Until June, in England it was effectively illegal for people not already living as a couple under the same roof to have sex; even after the first lockdown was lifted, subsequent restrictions were similarly strict.

Columnist Zoe Williams has been speaking to single people frustrated by what they say is a major oversight in policy. She tells Rachel Humphreys that it didnat have to be this way a other countries have recognised that everyone has a need for human connection, even in a pandemic.

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Sunakas budget needs to focus on business investment, not just government spending
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:00:19 GMT
From https:

Without fit and competitive firms, there will be no lasting recovery from the Covid crisis

Each year, people like me will tell you that the upcoming budget is the most important in living memory; that the government must grab the bull by the horns to deliver economic growth for the country. Well, after 11 months of businesses driven to the lowest of ebbs, this one is indeed a big deal. In spite of all this, Iam optimistic that better times may be around the corner soon.

The prime minister set out a pragmatic, common sense roadmap to easing lockdown this week. Yes, we might not be as quick to reopen as some may have hoped, but it is data driven with caution as the watchword. Firms are now hoping Rishi Sunakas budget will be the second half to this story. The roadmap sets out where we want to go and the budget will determine what shape business will be in when we get there.

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Rishi Sunak must deliver a workersa budget to ensure a post-Covid recovery | Frances O'Grady
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 08:00:21 GMT
From https:

Job creation is vital, but the work must also be skilled, secure, well-paid and green

  • Frances OaGrady is general secretary of the TUC

We all hope the pandemic is receding. But what it leaves behind is the prospect of mass unemployment and whole industries fighting for survival. At next weekas budget, working people across the UK need the chancellor to set out a new vision of good jobs for everyone.

Related: 'Deafening silence': UK government blasted over delays to employment reforms

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Covid and the climate crisis show why we need a new social contract between old and young | Minouche Shafik
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:00:24 GMT
From https:

The burden to pay for people in retirement is too great on those facing debt, job insecurity and an uncertain future

Covid-19 continues to bring many inter-generational tensions to the fore. Older people bear the brunt of the diseaseas impact on health; younger people have to make economic and social sacrifices to protect them. But the pandemic is just one reason why the social contract between the generations is under pressure.

Within families, the social contract between the generations is easy to understand. Parents want to give their children the capabilities and means to have a good life; children want their parents to have a comfortable old age. But at a societal level, the social contract between the generations is more complex. The legacy we leave to future generations has many dimensions a the stock of human knowledge and culture, inventions, infrastructure and institutions, and the state of the natural world. We owe a great deal to previous generations and most would agree that we also owe something to future generations we will never meet, and that each generation should leave the next at least as well off, and preferably better off than they were.

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India v England: third Test, day two a live!
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:22:56 GMT
From https:

50th over: India 135-9 (Bumrah 0, Ishant 1) Ishant inside-edges his way to a single and India lead by 23. India started the day at 99-3 and in complete control; 80 minutes, six wickets and 36 runs later theyare in complete disarray.

Another one for Root! Ashwin goes big and sends the ball looping to Crawley in the deep!

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Goals, class, a red Ferrari: Aldridge, Richardson and Atkinson at la Real
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 08:35:10 GMT
From https:

In their short spells with Real Sociedad three players left an indelible mark, as former teammates recall

The day John Aldridge turned up at Real Sociedadas Zubieta training ground in September 1989, he was confronted by graffiti saying foreigners werenat welcome. A year on, he had been so good that they welcomed two more of them, this time with open arms. For almost 30 years, la Real didnat have a player from outside the Basque Country; now they had three, and all from Britain and Ireland.

They were in San SebastiA!n together for only a season and not even a particularly good one, la Real finishing 1990-91 in their lowest position since returning to the first division 22 years earlier, but Aldridge, Kevin Richardson and Dalian Atkinson left an indelible mark, says Jonan LarraA+-aga. aI have lovely memories of all three,a the then club captain adds. Whoever you ask there is warmth. No one scored more goals than Aldridge or Atkinson and only LarraA+-aga played more games than Richardson.

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The Breakdown | Crackdown on dangerous play can help protect the Dan Carters of future
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:09:37 GMT
From https:

All Blacks fly-half was an exceptional talent in an attritional game and a move away from brute force may help skill flourish

Daniel Carter announced his retirement 18 years after he made his debut for the All Blacks on the same weekend that five players were sent off in the round of Premiership matches, a record for the tournament, as part of a crackdown on dangerous play that also saw a red card in each of the first two Six Nations weekends.

The blitz of red cards is part of the drive to reduce head injuries by improving player behaviour. The question is, why did it come late to the Premiership, given that nine reds were shown in the second and third rounds of the Top 14 in France, and 12 in the opening five, a period in which 57 players were also sent to the sin-bin.

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France v Scotland again in doubt following new positive Covid-19 test-six-nations-rugby-union
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:17:50 GMT
From https:
  • France suspend training ahead of Sundayas game in Paris
  • Entire squad and head coach Fabien GalthiA(c) self-isolating

France have suspended training ahead of Sundayas Six Nations game against Scotland following another positive Covid-19 test among their playing squad.

The fixture at the Stade de France had been thrown into doubt on Monday following an outbreak among France players and management. Six Nations officials gave the go-ahead for it to take place on Wednesday but the latest developments inevitably puts the fixture in jeopardy again. Fabien GalthiA(c)as entire squad is now self-isolating, as is the head coach along with members of his coaching team.

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Footballers feigning injury, referees in the action and Clay v Liston | Classic YouTube
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:30:22 GMT
From https:

This weekas roundup also features Sarah Tayloras wicket-keeping skills and the pain of being an NHL official

1) Itas not often the Guatemalan third division features in this roundup, but itas also not often a player a in this case Rosbin Ramos of Batanecos a drops to the ground writhing in agony, pretending to have been hit by an object thrown from the crowd. Ramos is not the first: who could forget Didaas slight overreaction to an admittedly stupid pitch invader at Celtic Park? Or Feyenoordas Steven Berghuis? Or even this? Worse still is the tale of Roberto Rojas. Back in 1989, Chile needed to beat Brazil to qualify for the World Cup and were trailing 1-0 when keeper Rojas pretended to have been hit by a flare, cutting himself with a razor blade hidden in his glove. The game was abandoned and Rojas banned for life (a sanction lifted in 1991) while Chile, whose manager and doctor were in on the sting, were excluded from the 1994 tournament.

2) Some referees are frustrated players, just like the rest of us. Hereas Ascar MacAas blocking a goalbound shot from Cruz Azul, in their Liga MX game against Toluca. And hereas Maurice Paarhuis, refereeing a game in the Dutch fourth division, accidentally scoring for HSV Hoek against Harkemase Boys. And hereas Atay Daudov bagging for Manas against Keyes DD in the second round of the LFL Dagestan. Of course, no such digest is complete without our very own Mike Dean, so hereas Sky Sportsa homage.

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Coventry family wins legal battle for Irish wording on gravestone
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:00:20 GMT
From https:

Church court had objected to loving tribute to Margaret Keane for fear of arousing political apassionsa

A grieving family has won its battle to erect a gravestone with an inscription in Irish after overturning a church court ban issued on the grounds that it might arouse political apassionsa.

The family of Margaret Keane, a Coventry dinner lady who died aged 73 in 2018, now hope a Celtic cross bearing the words aIn aIr gcroiIthe go deoa a ain our hearts forevera a will be in place on her grave in the grounds of St Giles church in Exhall, near Nuneaton, in time for St Patrickas Day on 17 March.

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Funding cuts hitting UK youth services as demand grows, report says
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:00:19 GMT
From https:

Survey finds 66% of 1,759 organisations face more demand but 83% say funding has decreased

UK youth services are failing to meet increasing demand during the pandemic while facing a rapid decrease in funding, a report has revealed.

The research from UK Youth, a leading charity for the sector, into the impact of Covid-19 on youth services found that 66% of the 1,759 organisations surveyed said there had been an increase in demand.

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Drax scraps plan for Europe's largest gas plant after climate protests
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:49:54 GMT
From https:

Green groups argued plan to replace coal burning units with gas at Yorkshire site was inconsistent with emissions goals

Drax has scrapped its controversial plans to build Europeas largest gas power plant at its site in North Yorkshire following fierce opposition from climate groups.

The electricity generator confirmed that it would drop plans to build two combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) in place of two old coal burning units at the Drax site, weeks after completing the sale of four other gas plants to a subsidiary of Vitol last month.

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Oxfam GB released from supervision by watchdog after Haiti scandal reforms
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 03:11:30 GMT
From https:

Charity made changes after 2019 earthquake response report found allegations of child sexual misconduct by staff werenat properly investigated

Oxfam will no longer be subject to strict supervision by the charity watchdog following asignificanta reforms prompted by a 2019 report into conduct by its staff after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

The Charity Commission for England and Wales found allegations that staff working in disaster zones sexually abused children were not fully disclosed, with the watchdog also citing a aculture of poor behavioura among Oxfam GB staff sent to help victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

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Royal Mint to commemorate fossil hunter Mary Anning
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 00:01:11 GMT
From https:

Special 50p coins will feature some of the Jurassic creatures discovered by 19th-century palaeontologist

One of the most terrifying Jurassic sea creatures is to appear on commemorative 50p coins to celebrate the work of the pioneering fossil hunter Mary Anning.

The temnodontosaurus coins will shine a light on the 19th-century palaeontologist, who made a series of discoveries near her home in Lyme Regis, Dorset.

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Tax abuse and money laundering is trapping billions in poverty, says UN
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 05:00:17 GMT
From https:

Report claims up to 10% of the worldas wealth could be hidden offshore and calls for global banking reform

Billions of people around the world are being trapped in poverty by systemic tax abuses, corruption and money laundering, according to a UN commission report calling for a global crackdown.

The UN panel on financial integrity for sustainable development urged governments to overhaul tax rules and the banking system to help end poverty and tackle the climate emergency.

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Facebook and Instagram ban Myanmar military as first pro-coup rally takes place
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:06:42 GMT
From https:

Junta banned from all Facebook and Instagram pages, including all commercial entities linked to the military

The Myanmar military has been banned from Facebook and Instagram with immediate effect, as the first pro-military rally took place in Yangon.

In a blog post, Facebook said: aEvents since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban,a adding: aWe believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) on Facebook and Instagram are too great.a

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Black-browed babbler found in Borneo 180 years after last sighting
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:00:19 GMT
From https:

Exclusive: Stuffed specimen was only proof of birdas existence until discovery in rainforest last year

In the 1840s, a mystery bird was caught on an expedition to the East Indies. Charles Lucien Bonaparte, the nephew of Napoleon, described it to science and named it the black-browed babbler (Malacocincla perspicillata).

The species was never seen in the wild again, and a stuffed specimen featuring a bright yellow glass eye was the only proof of its existence. But now the black-browed babbler has been rediscovered in the rainforests of Borneo.

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Taylor Swift countersues Evermore theme park over use of her music
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:37:16 GMT
From https:

Dispute continues following February lawsuit against singer, whose most recent album shares its name with Utah attraction

Taylor Swiftas legal dispute with a Utah theme park that shares a name with her album Evermore has escalated, with the singeras rights management company countersuing the park for unauthorised use of Swiftas music.

In February, representatives for Evermore filed a lawsuit against Swift, arguing that her December 2020 album Evermore infringed their copyright. They said the name had confused visitors and harmed the parkas visibility in search engines. Swiftas representatives called the suit abaseless a| frivolous and irresponsiblea.

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Biden urged to back water justice bill to reverse decades of underinvestment
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:00:23 GMT
From https:

Water Act proposes injection of federal dollars to overhaul ageing infrastructure, create jobs and address inequalities

Democratic lawmakers and advocates are urging Joe Biden to back legislation proposing unprecedented investment in Americaas ailing water infrastructure amid the countryas worst crisis in decades that has left millions of people without access to clean, safe, affordable water.

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Mammoth woolly: Baarack the overgrown sheep shorn of his 35kg fleece
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 01:16:21 GMT
From https:

Escaped merino ram found on the lam in regional Australia is said to be recovering well

A rogue overgrown sheep found roaming through regional Australia has been shorn of his 35kg fleece a a weight even greater than that of the famous New Zealand sheep Shrek, who was captured in 2005 after six years on the loose.

The merino ram, dubbed Baarack by rescuers, was discovered wandering alone with an extraordinarily overgrown wool coat, and was promptly shorn to save his life.

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Biden reverses Trump actions on green cards, architecture and 'anarchist jurisdictions'
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 03:11:53 GMT
From https:

Move undoes actions that blocked many immigrants from entering the US and sought to cut funding to cities Trump deemed alawlessa

Joe Biden has formally reversed a series of executive actions taken by Donald Trump, including a proclamation that blocked many green card applicants from entering the United States.

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Sailor survives for 14 hours in Pacific Ocean by clinging to abandoned buoy
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 00:34:56 GMT
From https:

Vidam Perevertilov, a supply ship engineer, fell overboard between New Zealand and the isolated British territory of Pitcairn

A sailor who fell overboard from a supply ship in the Pacific Ocean at 4am spent more than 14 hours clinging to an old fishing buoy before being rescued.

Alone in the middle of the ocean, and without a lifejacket, at dawn he chose to swim towards a black speck on the horizon, a decision that would ultimately save his life.

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Markets rebound as inflation worries fade a business live
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:20:08 GMT
From https:

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news

Outsourcing firm Serco is restoring its dividend for the first time in seven years, after a avery strong yeara that included a role in UK governmentas Covid-19 test-and-trace programme.

Serco reported a 20% jump in revenues in 2020, with underlying profits up 36% and pre-tax profits rising to APS153m from APS81m in 2019.

Outsourcer Serco resumes dividend, raises 2021 outlook on NHS boost https://t.co/Qah2udkJZx pic.twitter.com/hovfwY0xO3

...quarantine hotels in Australia mobilised in a matter of days; 10,500 call handlers mobilised in four weeks for the UK Tracing programme, then reduced three months later to 5,000, then expanded two months later to approaching 10,000.

A network of test centres set up and operated which between May and December tested more than 5 million people. Critical ship repairs performed under lock-down; train and metro services maintained transport services to move critical workers; multiple crews on rotating isolation to help support Navy movements; prisons adapted to 23-hour-day lockdowns and no visitors; hospital staff delivering cleaning, catering and portering with sickness absence rates of up to 25% in some contracts.

And we benefitted from an entirely new source of business - NHS Test & Trace where we have provided more than 25% of the testing sites and half the Tier 3 tracing capacity; although these contracts are at lower margins than we would normally accept for this type of work, they generated nearly APS350m of revenue, so made a material contribution and helped to reduce the impact of losses in Transport, Health and Leisure.

Our assistance with the UK testing programme, NHS Test and Trace, and Immigration contracts in AsPac and the UK have resulted in positive contributions to the Groupas profit.

Serco, you know who THEY are, have just announced....

aC/ Operating Profit APS179 million
aC/ Up 75% during pandemic
aC/ Thatas in the order of APS2,800 profit per worker
aC/ Yet Serco handed ordinary workers just APS100 of a bonus

Not much trickling down!!

Related: Serco profits surge thanks to Covid-19 test-and-trace contract

Related: The failure of test and trace shows the folly of handing huge contracts to private giants | Richard Brooks

Related: How teenagers ended up operating crucial parts of Englandas test and trace system | George Monbiot

The Covid-19 pandemic has wiped out more than a billion pounds of sales at clothing retailer Primark, with more to come.

Parent company Associated British Foods estimates that it lost APS1.1bn in sales as coronavirus-induced restrictions forced stores to close.

This period has been characterised by the impact on our trading of the restrictions on the movement of people put in place by UK and European governments to limit the spread of COVID-19. The extent and timing of restrictions have varied by market, with different approaches taken by each government and during this first half, unlike the first lockdown, all of our stores have not been closed at the same time.

However, the majority of our stores were closed during November and from the end of December and we estimate the loss of sales while stores were closed to be some APS1.1bn.

COVID-19: Primark predicts APS1.5bn sales hit from lockdown store closureshttps://t.co/V2qmncWzwQ pic.twitter.com/gCHHdphFS4

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Number of Hong Kong residents moving to Taiwan nearly doubles in 2020
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:16:20 GMT
From https:

Wave of migration comes amid worsening crackdown on freedoms following the introduction of Beijingas national security law

Taiwan issued nearly twice as many residence permits to Hongkongers in 2020 compared with the previous year, new government data have shown, further evidence of the continued exodus of people from the city that is under a worsening crackdown.

Pro-democracy supporters and basic freedoms in Hong Kong have been under pressure since the introduction of a national security law by Beijing in late June.

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Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro review a what it is to be human
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 05:00:18 GMT
From https:

The Nobel laureate examines loneliness, sacrifice and the meaning of love in a novel narrated by a machine with feelings

Klara and the Sun asks readers to love a robot and, the funny thing is, we do. This is a novel not just about a machine but narrated by a machine, though the word is not used about her until late in the book when it is wielded by a stranger as an insult. People distrust and then start to like her: aAre you alright, Klara?a Apart from the occasional lapse into bullying or indifference, humans are solicitous of Klaraas feelings a if that is what they are. Klara is built to observe and understand humans, and these actions are so close to empathy they may amount to the same thing. aI believe I have many feelings,a she says. aThe more I observe the more feelings become available to me.a

Related: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro a read the world exclusive extract

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Behind whose eyes? Why we love a jaw-dropping twist ending
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:34:20 GMT
From https:

Slick Netflix thriller Behind Her Eyes employs one of the wildest twists in recent memory, a giddy reminder of how fun a major rug-pull can be

  • This article contains spoilers

During the initial episodes of the glossy new Netflix thriller Behind Her Eyes, thereas a sort of polite familiarity to it. Oh itas this show with these characters spouting this kind of dialogue, a slick domestic saga of secrets, lies and oversized glasses of expensive white wine, the kind thatas proliferated tenfold both on page and on screen since the explosive arrival of Gone Girl. Thatas not necessarily a bad thing a itas sexy and well-acted and propulsive enough to keep us clicking on to the next episode a but on first glance, itas something we think weave seen before and something we think weall be able to predict.

Related: Netflix smash Behind Her Eyes: Sarah Pinborough on writing 'that ending'

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Nuts: a Surveillance Mystery review a squirrel snapper's delight takes a dark turn
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:00:24 GMT
From https:

Noodlecake Games, iOS (version tested)/PC/Nintendo Switch
Springwatch fans who crave mystery may enjoy this slow-burning minimalist adventure

Combine the acclaimed rural mystery game Firewatch with an episode of the BBCas nature cam series, Springwatch, and you have Nuts, a stylish and involving new adventure from remote indie studio, Noodlecake. You start the game as a naturalist employed to watch squirrels in the picturesque Melmoth forest a this involves setting up cameras to record the little critters then tracking them back to where they stash their food.

The world is rendered in a lovely minimalist style, with scenic details washed in subtle shades of orange and maroon, and the ambient sounds of birds chirping and streams flowing is wonderfully immersive and relaxing. It can take several attempts to get the cameras set up correctly to capture the squirrelsa nightly activities, but this sense of slow progress and patient observation suits the gameas calm, impressionistic environment.

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The Great British Art Tour: Britten, Pears and a missing arm
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:00:20 GMT
From https:

With public art collections closed we are bringing the art to you, exploring highlights from across the country in partnership with Art UK. Todayas pick: Aldeburghas Double Concerto

For more than 35 years the composer Benjamin Britten and singer Peter Pears lived together as life partners, their work together as musicians underpinned by a deep and fixed relationship that the two men described as a marriage. Although it was an open secret, for much of their lives that relationship was illegal and a plausible deniability had to be maintained at all times.

For nearly 20 years the two men made their home together in The Red House in Aldeburgh, and in the hall is a painting that tells a vivid story about their lives as gay men at this time. Double Concerto was commissioned by the two in 1967, very shortly after the Sexual Offences Act made their relationship legal at last.

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Typical review a Richard Blackwood is mesmerising in poetic tragedy
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:30:23 GMT
From https:

Available online
This superb play draws on the final hours of Christopher Alder, who died in police custody in Hull in 1998

Christopher Alderas last moments, in April 1998, were unforgivably brutal. Injured in a fight at a nightclub, he took his final breath in police custody. It was an abject death: an unlawful killing that, for his campaigners, represented another instance of a black British man dying in a senseless way.

Yet what is marked about Ryan Calais Cameronas astounding play, written in rap-like rhyming verse and tracing the minutiae of its unnamed characteras final day, is that it bursts with life, zest, humour and hedonism even as it hurtles towards tragedy.

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10 songs that bring back memories of my travels: Emma John's playlist
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:30:19 GMT
From https:

The Highlands, Texas, India and the Chilterns are among places that have inspired our writer a herself a bluegrass fiddler a through music

I first met the trio behind this track in a hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond. They were recording for a TV series, and the vast window behind them looked out across the wateras placid surface to hills that seemed to constantly change colour, from grey to green to purple to blue. The wistful way this track begins a halfway between melancholy and joy a captures the wild beauty of theScottish countryside for me, before it breaks into an upbeat jig, like the sun coming out. It whisks me back to heather-strewn glens and lowering munros, to the serenity of inland waters and the weathered beauty of the coast, and in my mind I can picture myself in the Highlands, driving through scenes of unfathomable splendour towards a cosy pub, and a shindig.

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Our 11-year-old daughter ran up a APS2,400 Roblox gaming bill
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:00:21 GMT
From https:

My wife was in hospital and couldnat monitor her spending on in-app purchases

My 11-year-old daughter made more than 300 in-app purchases over five days on Roblox, the online games platform, resulting in a APS2,400 bill on my wifeas PayPal account.

At the time, my wife was in ICU recovering from a 15-hour operation to remove a brain tumour. Incapacitated, and without access to her phone, she was unable to authorise or monitor this spending.

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Biden reverses Trump actions on green cards, architecture and 'anarchist jurisdictions'
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 03:11:53 GMT
From https:

Move undoes actions that blocked many immigrants from entering the US and sought to cut funding to cities Trump deemed alawlessa

Joe Biden has formally reversed a series of executive actions taken by Donald Trump, including a proclamation that blocked many green card applicants from entering the United States.

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GameStop shares surge more than 100% as trading frenzy returns
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 04:32:07 GMT
From https:

Investors are puzzled about why the stock favoured by home-based investors soared by 104%, and then 85% after hours

GameStop shares more than doubled in afternoon trading on Wednesday, surprising those who thought the video game retaileras stock price would stabilise after a fierce rally and steep dive that upended Wall Street in January.

The shares soared nearly 104% during the session in which trading was halted several times, then jumped another 85% after hours.

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'Unique' petrified tree up to 20m years old found intact in Lesbos
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 05:00:18 GMT
From https:

Discovery of 19.5-metre tree with roots, branches and leaves is unprecedented, say experts

First came the tree, all 19.5 metres of it, with roots and branches and leaves. Then, weeks later, the discovery of 150 fossilised logs, one on top of the other, a short distance away.

Nikolas Zouros, a professor of geology at the University of the Aegean, couldnat believe his luck. In 25 years of excavating the petrified forest of Lesbos, he had unearthed nothing like it.

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Kelsey Grammer to return as Frasier in reboot of hit comedy
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:01:01 GMT
From https:

Actor is agleefully anticipatinga the return of the comedy, which is being rebooted after 17 years

The hit 90s TV comedy Frasier, starring Kelsey Grammer as a snobbish radio advice-show host, is to return to television nearly two decades after it last aired. Grammer said he would reprise his role in a revival of the series, which ran for 263 episodes between 1993 and 2004.

Frasier, a spin-off of the TV series Cheers, was one of the most successful shows of the 90s and 00s, winning five consecutive Emmy awards for outstanding comedy series and running for 11 seasons. The series followed Grammeras character, who returns to Seattle to care for his elderly father, with his pretentious psychiatrist brother, Niles Crane.

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Taylor Swift countersues Evermore theme park over use of her music
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:37:16 GMT
From https:

Dispute continues following February lawsuit against singer, whose most recent album shares its name with Utah attraction

Taylor Swiftas legal dispute with a Utah theme park that shares a name with her album Evermore has escalated, with the singeras rights management company countersuing the park for unauthorised use of Swiftas music.

In February, representatives for Evermore filed a lawsuit against Swift, arguing that her December 2020 album Evermore infringed their copyright. They said the name had confused visitors and harmed the parkas visibility in search engines. Swiftas representatives called the suit abaseless a| frivolous and irresponsiblea.

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California vaccine sites see misuse of codes meant to prioritize Black and Latino residents
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:00:18 GMT
From https:

Intended as a tool to address distribution inequities, the codes were passed around by text and email, sometimes with misinformation

Access codes meant to give Californians of color priority access to Covid-19 vaccine slots have been getting passed around among other residents in the state, allowing some to cut the line and get appointments meant for underserved Black and Latino residents.

Misuse of these codes was reported at vaccine sites in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, said Brian Ferguson, spokesperson for the California office of emergency services, to the Guardian.

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Coronavirus live news: Finland announces lockdown plan; Ukraine registers 40% jump in new cases
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:21:34 GMT
From https:

Finnish PM announces three-week lockdown from 8 March; Ukraine registered 8,147 cases on Wednesday; EU leaders to debate certificates for people who had Covid jabs

More from the World Health Organization news conference (tune in to the video at the top of the page):

Long covid is thought to be due to persistence of the virus in some parts of the body that are sheltered from the immune system, for instance in the brain, said Martin Mackee, professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The likelihood of getting long covid isnat associated with severe infection, and women are more likely to get it than men, he said.

Coronavirus is continuing to spread at high rates across Europe, with two variants posing the greatest threat, according to Dr Hans Henri Kluge, the World Health Organizationas director for Europe.

Speaking at a news conference, Kluge said that less than 1 million new cases have been reported for a second week in a row as transmission is slowing across Europe, while new reported cases have declined by almost a half since end of 2020. However he cautioned against complacency given that the number of new cases in Europe is 10 times higher than in May last year, and most countries still have very high levels of community transmission.

One in ten Covid-19 sufferers remain unwell after 12 weeks, and many for longer, he added. He advised health authorities to listen to the symptoms of long Covid sufferers in order to better understand the condition. This is a priority for the WHO, and should be for every health authority, he said.

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Claudette Colvin: the woman who refused to give up her bus seat a nine months before Rosa Parks
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:00:19 GMT
From https:

It was a spring afternoon in 1955 when a teenageras spontaneous act of defiance changed US history. Why did it take 40 years for her to get any credit?

It was 2 March 1955, and an unusually humid spring day when students at Booker T Washington high school, a segregated school in the heart of the Jim Crow south, had been let off early to make their way home. A group boarded a segregated public bus, which wound through segregated neighbourhoods gradually filling up with passengers.

A 15-year-old gifted Black student, with aspirations to become a civil rights attorney, took a window seat near the exit door. She gazed outdoors until the white driver instructed her to give up her seat for a white passenger standing nearby.

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Who will clean up the 'billion-dollar mess' of abandoned US oilwells?
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 09:15:22 GMT
From https:

As oil companies go out of business, they are leaving a legacy of abandoned wells that leak huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere

Jill Morrison has seen how the bust of oil and gas production can permanently scar a landscape.

Near her land in north-east Wyomingas Powder River Basin, where drilling started in 1889, more than 2,000 abandoned wells are seeping brine into the groundwater and leaking potent greenhouse gasses.

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Assume Nothing: new book details alleged abuse by former New York attorney general
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:00:23 GMT
From https:

Tanya Selvaratnam describes alleged intimate violence by Eric Schneiderman in the form of aentrapment, isolation, control, demeaning, and abusea

  • Warning: this article contains descriptions of alleged abuse

Amid warnings that domestic abuse has spiked alarmingly during the pandemic, an account published on Tuesday of a year-long relationship between a womenas rightas activist and successful producer Tanya Selvaratnam and the former New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, could hardly be more timely.

Selvaratnam went public with accusations of intimate violence against her former boyfriend in the New Yorker in May 2018. Three other women who had been involved with Schneiderman also came forward with disturbing accounts of subjugation.

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aThe base is solidly behind hima: Trumpism expected to thrive at CPAC
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:00:20 GMT
From https:

Lineup at annual gathering features former presidentas allies a and Trump himself a suggesting his dominance is undiminished by his election loss

Ronald Solomon spent five days making the 2,300-mile drive from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Orlando, Florida, where he will sell about 75 different hat designs, 15 types of flag, 10 T-shirt designs and a range of eight face masks.

Solomon is the president of the Maga Mall, a retailer of Donald Trump and aMake America great againa merchandise. Undeterred by the former presidentas 2020 election defeat and disgrace, he expects to do brisk business when the biggest annual gathering of grassroots conservatives opens on Thursday.

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Rapinoe brace opens floodgates as USA rout Argentina to win SheBelieves Cup
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 02:32:10 GMT
From https:
  • Rapinoe, Morgan and Press among scorers as US win 6-0
  • USA become first back-to-back SheBelieves cup winners
  • World champions extend unbeaten streak to 37 matches

Megan Rapinoe scored twice and the United States clinched the SheBelieves Cup title with a 6-0 victory over Argentina on Wednesday night.

The US are undefeated in 37 games in a row overall and 53 on American soil. Under Vlatko Andonovski, who succeeded Jill Ellis as the teamas manager in 2019, they are a perfect 16 wins from 16 matches.

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Urban Meyer embodies the hubris of the US sports industry
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:00:24 GMT
From https:

Powerful figures like the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach believe they are above reproach a because for much of their careers they have been

Just when you think the NFL cannot sink any deeper into its own particular brand of win-at-all-costs shamelessness. Just when you think the sport as a collective has broken through the cycle of player arrests, out-of-control assistant coaches and the system of enabling that extends from the high school ranks all the way to the commissioneras office, along comes Urban Meyer.

College footballas enabler-in-chief has moved to the professional ranks. The three-time national championship-winning college coach has been handed the keys to the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise. Already, he has brought with him controversy. Earlier this month, Meyer dipped back into the college game to hire former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle to serve as his conditioning czar in Jacksonville.

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No sex please, we're British. Dating in a pandemic
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 03:00:15 GMT
From https:

Lockdown rules have left little opportunity for people who arenat already living with a partner to pursue romantic relationships, explains Zoe Williams

Last March, when the first a and strictest a national coronavirus lockdown went into effect, one of the many aspects of life that suddenly became exponentially more complicated was dating. Until June, in England it was effectively illegal for people not already living as a couple under the same roof to have sex; even after the first lockdown was lifted, subsequent restrictions were similarly strict.

Columnist Zoe Williams has been speaking to single people frustrated by what they say is a major oversight in policy. She tells Rachel Humphreys that it didnat have to be this way a other countries have recognised that everyone has a need for human connection, even in a pandemic.

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Behind whose eyes? Why we love a jaw-dropping twist ending
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:34:20 GMT
From https:

Slick Netflix thriller Behind Her Eyes employs one of the wildest twists in recent memory, a giddy reminder of how fun a major rug-pull can be

  • This article contains spoilers

During the initial episodes of the glossy new Netflix thriller Behind Her Eyes, thereas a sort of polite familiarity to it. Oh itas this show with these characters spouting this kind of dialogue, a slick domestic saga of secrets, lies and oversized glasses of expensive white wine, the kind thatas proliferated tenfold both on page and on screen since the explosive arrival of Gone Girl. Thatas not necessarily a bad thing a itas sexy and well-acted and propulsive enough to keep us clicking on to the next episode a but on first glance, itas something we think weave seen before and something we think weall be able to predict.

Related: Netflix smash Behind Her Eyes: Sarah Pinborough on writing 'that ending'

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Tax abuse and money laundering is trapping billions in poverty, says UN
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 05:00:17 GMT
From https:

Report claims up to 10% of the worldas wealth could be hidden offshore and calls for global banking reform

Billions of people around the world are being trapped in poverty by systemic tax abuses, corruption and money laundering, according to a UN commission report calling for a global crackdown.

The UN panel on financial integrity for sustainable development urged governments to overhaul tax rules and the banking system to help end poverty and tackle the climate emergency.

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Facebook and Instagram ban Myanmar military as first pro-coup rally takes place
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 07:06:42 GMT
From https:

Junta banned from all Facebook and Instagram pages, including all commercial entities linked to the military

The Myanmar military has been banned from Facebook and Instagram with immediate effect, as the first pro-military rally took place in Yangon.

In a blog post, Facebook said: aEvents since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban,a adding: aWe believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) on Facebook and Instagram are too great.a

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Sailor survives for 14 hours in Pacific Ocean by clinging to abandoned buoy
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 00:34:56 GMT
From https:

Vidam Perevertilov, a supply ship engineer, fell overboard between New Zealand and the isolated British territory of Pitcairn

A sailor who fell overboard from a supply ship in the Pacific Ocean at 4am spent more than 14 hours clinging to an old fishing buoy before being rescued.

Alone in the middle of the ocean, and without a lifejacket, at dawn he chose to swim towards a black speck on the horizon, a decision that would ultimately save his life.

Continue reading...


Jamal Khashoggi: Biden faces calls to 'strike a blow' for Saudi human rights
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 02:48:27 GMT
From https:

US administration is preparing to release intelligence assessment that reportedly names the Crown Prince as complicit in murder of journalist

Joe Biden is expected to call Saudi Arabiaas King Salman, as his administration prepares to release a declassified intelligence assessment that will reportedly name the royalas son and heir as complicit in the grisly murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

The White House confirmed on Wednesday that Bidenas call to the 85-year-old ruler would take place asoona and that the declassified report on Khashoggias murder was being readied for release. Biden, who said he has read the report, is insisting that he speak only to the king.

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Four charged in Sydney and Canada over alleged extortion attempt of senior Iraqi MP
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 04:06:18 GMT
From https:

Family of politician, who is a dual Australian and Iraqi citizen, allegedly targeted via attacks on a Sydney home and online extortion attempts linked to an address in western Canada

Four people have been charged in Sydney and Canada over alleged attempts to extort $10 million from a senior Iraqi politician, after what was described as a year-long campaign of intimidation.

Dual raids were launched at dawn on Wednesday after a string of attacks on a Sydney home and online extortion attempts linked to an address in Canada.

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Man Assaults Corey Katir